ADLIB Steel Orchestra
Panorama Championships - 2008, 2011, 2012
2019 Tune of choice: “Iron Love” | arranger: Marc Brooks
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Manager – Franklin Mayers
In August of 1989, a group of Caribbean-Americans came together with a vision to promote the musical and cultural education, as well as the overall well being of the youths in the community. Jackson and Harry Headley, Neville Gaskin, Fitz Worrell, and Tony Alverez pooled their resources and their knowledge to form the ADLIB Steel Orchestra. Using handcrafted instruments, a few players and a dedicated musical arranger, the band began to take its first steps toward what would become a full-fledged cultural and educational organization.
In the early days, the members, not unlike a band of gypsies, depended upon the generosity of members and friends to provide practice space and rehearsal time. As time passed, more and more members climbed aboard and with hard work and individual dedication, the band reached performance level. In 1991, under the direction of their past Musical Director, Lloyd C. Modeste, ADLIB entered and won their first major competition in Baltimore, Maryland – outplaying bands with considerably more experience and membership. The band continued to make their mark in the field of Steel Band competitions by coming in 2nd in 1992, 3rd in 1993 and again 2nd in 1994.
As an indication of their continued commitment to excellence and hard work, ADLIB returned to Maryland in July of 1995 and became the 1995 Baltimore Steel Band Panorama Champions – once again showing they could overcome obstacles of size and age.
With competition-level performances under their belt, ADLIB began to branch out, teaching more children and young adults about the joy of music and the riches of the Caribbean culture through the art of Steel Pan playing. They began showcasing their talents all over the New York area for numerous musical and cultural events. The list of performances encompasses a wide range of diversity. In the village of Freeport alone the list includes: the annual First Night of Freeport on New Years’ Eve at the Freeport Recreational Center, the Freeport Memorial Day Parade, the Freeport Mayoral Victory Celebration aboard the Nautical Princess, the “Blessing of the Fleet” on Freeport’s Nautical Mile and “Freeport Day.”
In addition, the ADLIB Steel Orchestra has also appeared with public performances at a number of local libraries for the Long Island Arts Council, at the EAB Plaza Holiday Concert Series, at the annual summer concert series on the beaches in Bayville, the Senior Enrichment Program in Lido Beach, the Eisenhower Park Cultural Arts Festival, and at the Long Island Children’s Museum. The orchestra has also performed in Lincoln Center’s renowned Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls and in the annual West Indian American Day festivities on Labor Day weekend in Brooklyn.
Continuing with its focus on the youth, ADLIB Steel Orchestra was able to train one of its young players, who started in the band at the tender age of eight years, to arrange music. In 2007, 17-year-old Andre White led ADLIB to third place in the New York Panorama, competing with much larger bands.
In 2008, again under Andre’s direction, ADLIB finally captured 1st in the New York Panorama, to the delight of the public, which has been cheering us along for many years. ADLIB also captured 1st in 2008 in the two categories of the J’Ouvert competition. In 2009 ADLIB and Andre continued to excel, coming in 2nd in the Panorama competition and 1st and 2nd in the two J’Ouvert competitions. In 2010, ADLIB again came in 2nd in the Panorama competition and 1st in the J’Ouvert Calypso competition. Andre then brought the band two consecutive Panorama championships in 2011 and 2012.
ADLIB Steel Orchestra is incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, the ADLIB Youth and Cultural Organization, whose purpose is to provide a venue for the youths of the community to come together for entertainment and education. The organization relies on the contributions of sponsors and benefactors as its main source of financial support.
The Concert Band, a group of select ADLIB members who play regularly for smaller engagements and private parties, is readily available for any musical occasion or special event. Anyone interested in either becoming a member, hiring the band for an event, or receiving more information regarding what the band has to offer, can contact Jean Mayers at any of the following phone numbers: 1 (516) 623-4061, 1 (516) 672-1135, or 1 (516) 292-2016.
- 2019 - Marc Brooks
- 2018 - Marc Brooks
- 2017 - Shelton C. Besson
- 2016 - Amrit Samaroo
- 2015 - Amrit Samaroo
- 2014 - Amrit Samaroo
- 2013 - Andre White
- 2012 - Andre White
- 2011 - Andre White
- 2010 - Andre White
- 2009 - Andre White
- 2008 - Andre White
- 2007 - Andre White
- 2006 - Andre White & Michael George
- 2005 - Reuben Nelson
- 2004 - Stephen Sampson
- 2003 - Stephen Sampson & Michael George
- 2002 - Reuben Nelson
- 2001 - Reuben Nelson
- 2000 -
- 1999 - Rueben Nelson & Harold Headley